Summary: Akaashi is Bokuto's everything, and there's no way he could ever really understand. Also on AO3.
heyyyy, lol, it's been a while
When I was in middle school and early high school, I had a workload I was unprepared for and was getting about three hours sleep per night. I was incredibly overtired and stressed and sometimes I'd have....I don't know if they'd be considered anxiety attacks or what, but periods of choking and sobbing until I vomitted. For a while this was happening fairly frequently and consistently woke up my mother (both my parents are extremely light sleepers). When I did she would storm into my room and, rather than comforting me, tell me to shut up and not be ridiculous and that I was keeping her up.
In ninth grade a junior in band class told me to shut up and that I was incredibly annoying. Sometime later he shot a spitball into my open mouth.
Every three years pretty consistently my friends leave me and I'm forced to start over.
It's hard for me to find anyone to spend time with, because I've had an extremely hard time even making friends and when I have, there's always better friend ahead of me in line.
While I was in Korea my friend there Maria would comment on a near-daily basis about the surprising massive size of my breasts.
I want to tell people, sometimes, that I'm ace, but there never seems to be a good time because it's invisible - just like everything else.
I'm fat and no matter what I do I'll never be as skinny as my mom was in high school.
Every pet I've had has been put down while I was at school, and sometime all the animals I love so much now will die while I'm nowhere nearby.
"I forget how obsessed you get about things."
"Frankly the first thing I ever made was better than this."
It's even harder when you've been pushed down into second place by a new friend, and harder still when you're lied to - whether intentionally or not - in favor of the new model.
I've spent most of my life being the second choice. Besides two friends I've had since extreme childhood, my friendships generally last about three years before people cut ties with me and move on. Probably the only time I was ever really, securely the first choice was from the age of one and a half to about six years old, when my friend Julia and I were each other's only friend - we were the only kids we really knew.
This changed when we were about six and our third friend, Alex, moved in. While we formed a trio and are still all close friends, it became obvious around middle school that Alex and Julia were the best friends, and I was secondary to both of them. There, I think, followed a period of several years where, for whatever reason, I refused to leave my house or hang out with friends until eventually they stopped coming, but that was, I think, unrelated and neither here nor there.
Now that both of them have boyfriends - which both of them got simultaneously for really the first time, fairly immediately, and quite seriously - I've been pushed even further down in the rankings. The new order is boyfriends first, then each other, then me. There may actually be some newer friend groups that come above or on a level with me, but I'm not sure so I'm going to stick with a ranking I'm sure of.
At college, I never really managed to make any good friends myself. I stuck to my roommate and eventual unparalleled friend, Hannah, who was a sort of social butterfly (though she denies it), and thus it was through her that I met the group of people I typically consider my friends, though at the same time I think of them as her friends first.
I absolutely adore Hannah, probably more than anyone in my entire life. We lived together for two years after being randomly placed together at the start of freshman year, and as such I had a clear monopoly on Hannah's time, but at once she seemed to voluntarily spend more time with me than most.
This past year I studied abroad for fully ten months, and she studied abroad for the spring semester, and it seems like something's changed. We texted not infrequently while we were apart, but I guess there's no substitute for a semester's absence on my part, while she was left in our familiar environment to make new better friends.
Hannah has always been super cute, kind of a basic bitch (to be honest; not in a bad way) - very ~+~*aesthetic*~+~, in a tumblr astrology pseudo '90s kind of way. I am nothing at all like that, and it seems that in my absence I've been replaced by a new #a e s t h e t i c friend, Xixi. Xixi has been around since...maybe freshman but at least sophomore year, but I don't know that they were ever super close. At the least, I didn't see them really hanging out until recently, but now they're together all the time.
Xixi, like Hannah, is the precise sort of cliched tumblr trend girl that's so big right now - fake 90s look, chokers, septum piercing, Instagram full of idly desolate #a e s t h e t i c ootds - the works, just like Hannah. They have a lot of shared interests, I wasn't around, I get it, Hannah moved on to someone available, and that all hurts but I understand. But now it feels like she's lying to me in favor of seeing Xixi.
Yesterday I asked if she wanted to hang out and watch a movie. She replied that she was about to go out so she couldn't but maybe tomorrow (that is to say today). Sure, fine, all good. Today, I check in with her. I'd told her previously that I have band today, though she'd never really replied, but ask if she's still on to hang out sometime today. She says no, that she's feeling she feels horribly sick like she's dying, so maybe tomorrow evening - but less than an hour later there she is, hanging out with Xixi and, later (an hour ago) out to eat with Xixi and, I suspect, my roommate Sean (who, to be fair, she was friends with first).
I know this just comes off as selfish jealousy, but it really does hurt being pushed aside, especially by falsehood. I rather doubt Hannah means to lie to me, but she is, nevertheless, and I'd rather she just say outright that she'd rather I fuck off so she's free for others. It hasn't really occurred to me until writing this out, but it has been three years - time for the end of a friendship I felt sure would last for years. Now I'm just painfully lonely at all times, simply because everyone has someone else better.
It's just really hard being the second choice.
Our finals (there's four - speaking, listening, reading, and writing) are spread over Monday-Wednesday next week, so today we were taking a practice listening test. After the test we were going over our answers and there was one where we had to listen to a story about a girl's day shopping, what she bought and for how much and how many of each, and say how much she had spent. I got it wrong – she spent ₩65,000, not ₩55,000 – because I misheard 40,000 (sa man) as 30,000 (sam man), and I was discussing that briefly with a guy across the class who made the same mistake when one girl, Jasmine (who I thought I got along with pretty well – we've hung out alone before) very snidely said "It's ok, Aidan. We all still think you're smart."
This wasn't the first sort of snide thing like that she's said, but this felt particularly catty, and all at once I started to worry that I did sound boastful. I really don't think I'm doing that great but I guess maybe I could have come off as bragging? I'm not sure but it just made me immediately hyperconscious of everything I said. Thankfully that was the last question on the test and then it was just a couple minutes of the teacher speaking before we could go, so I wasn't stuck in the room, but it still just felt really awful.
I had never considered that the majority of Americans live directly in, or in close proximity to, cities. It makes sense, I suppose; cities are huge and so densely packed with people that when I think about it it seems logical. But it had just never occurred to me before.
Most of UMBCs students are from the Baltimore metropolitan area, if not from downtown itself. I had certainly experienced some cultural differences of a sort when I first started going there but it was pretty minor things - I particularly remember that none of the city kids knew Cotten Eye Joe (a middle school dance staple) and that they considered malls I thought were monstrous to be rather small (I am thinking here of Arundel Mills).
Since coming to Korea, this sort of urban/rural culture shock has become far more pronounced than ever before. There is, in the first place, living in the city at all. There’s such incredibly freedom - when I’m hungry, I’m surrounded by restaurants of all kinds within easy walking distance. If I’m bored there’s a whole city’s worth of historical sites and museums. Getting to these places is easy - there’s a massive (and extremely complicated so I haven’t really used it at all) bus system going to all corners of the city and even to all corners of the country. The subway is fast and easy and costs about a dollar to go most places.
Whenever I mention these marvels to my fellow international students, they are surprised - unlike me, they are frustrated by the 10-15 minute walk to reach the subway and restaurant area. Unlike me they are irritated by how busy the subway is and not at all impressed by the sheer //presence of public transport. For the last several chapters of my Korean book we have been asked to describe our home and what’s around it. Everyone else talks about the aquariums and museums and things like that in the cities where I live. Meanwhile I am such with saying that there are many churches and fields.
I’ll mention something occasionally and people ask “Where do you even live?” Just a couple days ago I mentioned how common is is to be stuck behind a tractor on the road when you’re trying to get somewhere; the rest of my class looked at my like I’d grown a second head. While walking with my roommate I smelled manure and remarked on what a familiar and homey scent it was and she acted like I was crazy.
Last weekend I got lost on a fairly rural island I’d visited in order to see a (ultimately incredibly uninspiring) historical site. I had to take the bus around the island and I wasn’t sure where to get off and after I realized it I didn’t want to keep riding around the island so I got off at the next stop. I then sat in the bus stop crying and scared for 45 minutes waiting for another bus to come along. The bus stop was surrounded by fields and a mountain with a very few buildings and people passing by with wheelbarrows. At the time I was terrified at being in the middle of nowhere with no way to leave, but when I think about it it really wasn’t any less rural than most of Frederick and actually had a reliable bus line connecting it to the urban centre (unlike Frederick).
Its just really strange. I’ve said this before, but yet again I find myself thinking that I never totally realized exactly how rural the are I’ve lived is, and how rare it is to live in such an environment.